Publish in OALib Journal
APC: Only $99
Background: Physicians will need increased skills in the areas of public health, equity based interventions and patient safety skills to address the medical needs of patients in the 21st century. Premedical education and experiences is one strategy to address these areas. Methods: A one month rural summer practicum was developed for all BA/MD students. Key components include: 1) physician shadowing; 2) tutorials; 3) narrative writings; and 4) group community projects. Students attend a preparatory community service course prior to the practicum. Pre/post practicum surveys assessed students’ attitudes and skills with respect to community interventions. Post practicum surveys evaluate the elements of the practicum. Results: Survey results demonstrated no significant change in opinions or skills and activities with respect to community interventions. Highly rated items in the post practicum evaluations included physician shadowing, community activities, and opportunities to learn from others. Conclusions: A pre-medical practicum experience can help students define their roles as future physicians and increase their interactions within communities around public health issues. Whether this translates into improved involvement of physicians using public health equity based interventions is an area of ongoing study.